The Ice Road (2021) Download: Netnaija
A rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save trapped miners in a collapsed diamond mine in the far northern regions of Canada.
- File Size: 259.46MB
- Released: Jun 25, 2021
- Language: English
- Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
- Stars: Liam Neeson, Marcus Thomas, Laurence Fishburne
- Subtitle: English – Download
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If you liked the reality show “Ice Road Truckers” but thought it could use some frantic gunfire, mechanical sabotage, and intentional avalanches to up the ante, you’re in luck. Now there’s “The Ice Road,” but it’s a thoroughly mediocre Liam Neeson actioner that’s not nearly as exciting as the above description implies.
You might be wondering, as I was, “Two Liam Neeson movies in less than six months?” In this economic climate?” Yes, the grizzled star is back after the January release of “The Marksman.” Both require him to use his unique set of skills to save people in danger and defeat bad guys, but the skills aren’t nearly as sophisticated or complex as they once were, and neither film comes close to the visceral thrills of “Taken” or “The Grey.”
It’s been a long time since Liam Neeson was at his peak, and his gruff, imposing presence can only do so much to make a movie watchable at this point. Despite its many natural and human perils, “The Ice Road” is surprisingly dull. Given the setting and stakes, it’s definitely not as insane as it should have been. While writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh establishes a foreboding tone with impressive widescreen vistas of unforgiving, snowy expanses, his action sequences fall flat.
The story of Hensleigh begins with an explosion at a remote diamond mine in far northern Manitoba, Canada, trapping approximately two dozen men inside. While they argue about methane levels and send messages through pipes to the outside world, equipment to free them moves slowly in their direction. Mike McCann, played by Liam Neeson, is part of a three-truck convoy that must travel across perilous ice roads—plowed pathways carved across massive frozen lakes—to reach their destination. Gurty (Marcus Thomas), Mike’s younger brother and an Iraq war veteran suffering from PTSD and aphasia, is a passenger in the car. Laurence Fishburne’s Jim Goldenrod, the longtime trucker who organized this mission, and Amber Midthunder’s Tantoo, a troublemaking Native woman who is also a daring driver, are also on the journey. (It just so happens that her brother is one of the men trapped in the mine, so This Time It’s Personal.) Along for the ride is a city slicker corporate actuary who may be up to no good (Benjamin Walker, the only one who recognizes this B-movie material for what it is).
Tantoo elucidates the difficult balancing act that truckers must perform in order to traverse this perilous stretch—in April, of all months. They can’t go too slowly or too fast because they’re carrying heavy equipment. They must keep an eye out for pressure waves ahead of them and cracks behind them, as these obstacles provide a couple of legitimately tense moments. While that exposition is necessary, the characters in “The Ice Road” spend far too much time explaining things to one another. Nonetheless, they remain underdeveloped and uninteresting. Mike yelling “Kiss my Irish ass!” to a doctor attempting to prescribe opioids to his brother is not a surprise. Hensleigh alternates between the drivers and the miners, but the people we’re supposed to care about as they gasp for air are essentially interchangeable, and it’s difficult to tell who’s who in there because it’s so dark.
Whatever happens on this perilous journey, Neeson remains the scowling straight man. He gets few chances to show off his charisma or menace, though he does get to throw some punches by the end. And, while we understand that his character’s time is limited because he is preoccupied with the challenges of caring for his brother, it’s difficult to imagine how he ended up in this potentially lethal, agonizing job in the first place.
And somewhere, among the crackling bullets and the generically insistent score, there’s a message about corporate greed and Native land exploitation. But you’ll probably want to keep going.